Welcome to the Bureau of Meteorology portal for GovHack 2017!
There are three primary datasets being highlighted as a part of GovHack 2017. The first of these is a prototype API to our real-time forecast data, which will provide access to forecasts anywhere in the Australian region. The second of these is our verification dataset available through data.gov.au.
The information here summarises the contents of those datasets and describes how you can get started working with each.
We also highlight a geospatial API known as the Geofabric.
Real-time Forecast Data API
A detailed getting-started guide is available at https://developer.bom.gov.au/how-to-get-started which will walk you through the steps of obtaining an API key, registering your first application, and demonstrating a practical use of the API. The concepts you will need to be familiar with are REST APIs, using a "GeoHash" to provide location information as a part of the query, and using client-side code to work with the API. The type of data which is provided is forecast values in the JSON format.
The specific types of forecast information provided includes the temperature, and the amount of expected rainfall, on a per-three-hour basis. The daily maximum and minimum temperature are also available.
The verification dataset contains two years of matched forecast and observations at various key locations around the country. This can be used to explore the relationship between forecasts and actual weather, the variability of forecasts or the range of observed weather conditions which have occured at locations in the past. More detailed information can be accessed from data. This data is split according to year, and are most easily found by searching for "verification" on the data.gov.au portal. A direct link to the search results is available at: http://data.gov.au/dataset?q=verification . In addition to being able to download the dataset, there is also a document showing the relevant metadata, as well as some basic examples of how to load and work with the data in the Python programming language.
One of our geospatial APIs is known as the Geofabric. This is a digital database of surface and groundwater features that registers the spatial location and relationships between important hydrologic features, such as rivers, water storages, catchments and aquifers. The Geofabric is most commonly used to identify drainage networks and contributing catchment areas, and at the finest level of detail includes ~1.4 million streams and 1.5 million catchments.
This National dataset includes 33 spatial layers and 11 relationship tables, and is available as both WMS & WFS. Further information can be found at http://geofabric.bom.gov.au/documentation/
Additional Bureau Datasets
The Bureau of Meteorology has a broad range of data which is available to the public in a wide variety of sources. Competitors are welcome to utilise any of these sources during the competition. The two datasets described on this page have been chosen as an effective way for competitors to get started working with Bureau data, and find information which is both easy to work with and of interest a broad audience. If you would like to use any alternative datasets during the competition, please feel free to get in touch with the data mentors who may be able to provide further assistance on the day.
Asking for help or obtaining further information
Bureau of Meteorlogy representatives will be present at some GovHack locations during the competition. In addition, there will be staff members available on https://govhackhq.slack.com to handle queries as they arise. Please note, the official Bureau of Meteorology Twitter account is reserved for operational purposes, so the appropriate way to get in touch is through the competition Slack instance.
The first port of call for additional technical information should be to go into the links provided above.